Wednesday, September 9, 2020
NASCAR Top 10 Power Rankings: Darlington
Note: the quotes in this article are fictional.
1. Kevin Harvick — Harvick took the win at Darlington after inheriting the lead when Chase Elliott and Martin Truex, Jr. hit the wall battling for the lead late.
"If this were the Olympics," Harvick said, "I would have won the gold, while Eliott and Truex would have shared the silver, for handing me that win on a platter of such."
2. Denny Hamlin — Hamlin finished 13th at Darlington.
"I missed getting into the pits late in the race," Hamlin said, "and that cost me. I missed the left into the pits. Several other drivers made mistakes at Darlington. So I guess as far as making mistakes goes, it was 'my turn.'"
3. Chase Elliott — Elliott finished 20th in the Cook Out Southern 500.
"Martin Truex, Jr. tried to pass me for the lead and wasn't clear," Elliott said. "The result? We both hit the wall and lost our chances to win. So, in our tangle, there were no winners."
4. Joey Logano — Logano finished 3rd at Darlington, posting his 7th top-five of the season
"It was 'throwback' weekend at Darlington," Logano said. "Mine honored Bobby Allison. His brother Donnie will be honored whenever NASCAR has a 'throw punch' weekend."
5. Brad Keselowski — Keselowski hit the wall in Stage 1 and fell a lap down before recovering to post an 11th at Darlington.
"When you make a mistake at Darlington," Keselowski said, "the wall makes you pay for it. Now, if Corey LaJoie hits the wall with his 'Trump 2020' car, the wall makes Mexico pay for it."
6. Martin Truex, Jr. — Truex swept Stages 1 and 2, but fell from contention after initiating contact while trying to pass Chase Elliott with 15 laps to go. Truex finished 22nd.
"I take full responsibility," Truex said. "I said as much on Twitter, where my new Twitter handle is '@fault.'"
7. Ryan Blaney — Blaney suffered a flat rear tire early in Stage 2, and the ensuing pit stop left him a lap down. Unable to recover, he finished 24th.
"Even before that," Blaney said, "I was docked 10 points and sent to the back of the field for improperly mounted ballast. That's a pretty stiff punishment, and is also known as being 'heavily penalized.'"
8. William Byron — Byron finished 5th at Darlington, just ahead of Handrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman.
"I just signed a two-year contract extension with Hendrick Motorsports," Byron said. "I signed on the dotted line, while also making sure I didn't sign below the yellow line."
9. Kyle Busch — Busch finished 7th at Darlington and is 10th in the points standings.
"I'm the guy most people might be overlooking to win the championship," Busch said. "My odds in Vegas to win the title are pretty slim. So, as far as oddsmakers go, 'no one likes me to win.' Remove the 'to win' part of that phrase, and you have another true statement."
10. Aric Almirola — Almirola finished 9th in the Cook Out Southern 500 and is now 12th in the point standings.
"I'm sitting right on the playoff bubble," Almirola said. "My Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Kevin Harvick doesn't have to worry about that. In fact, he's think not about the 'playoff bubble,' but the 'playoff bubbly.'"